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  1. #1
    martincom's Avatar
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    2002 Virage i Winter Project 2019/2020

    I acquired this non-running 2002 Virage i a few weeks ago. The story is the previous owner lunched the engine and had it replaced with an SBT, which I confirmed by the SBT S/N plate on the MAG cylinder. Continuing, they used it for about an hour. The next instance they attempted to utilize it, it would only start and run for a few seconds before dying. It was sold to a diesel mechanic who intended to repair it, but never did. I purchased it from the diesel mechanic.

    During my pre-purchase inspection, I found the compression ratio to be low and unequal, 125 psi and 90 psi. I'm wishfully hoping this is just from the lack of break-in, but my next step will be to take a peak with a bore scope. The reason it wouldn't stay running is the fuel pump, it is totally dead. Further checks pinpointed the trouble to the fuel pump itself, it reads open with an ohm meter.

    DW reports a little over 120 hours of run time, along with fault codes for the fuel pump and deleted water injection solenoid. Static tests were all OK with the exception of the fuel pump.

    I've obviously been spoiled by only owning 2003 & 2004 Virage i. What an awful place to mount an EMM in these 2002s! I have the wiring harness and EMM mounting bracket from a 2004 I scrapped. My plan is to use those components to update this to 2004 wiring. To that end, I'll need some additional wiring harness retainers that glue to the inside of the hull wall. They appear to be some type of ABS or similar channel cut into 1.5" pieces. It never occurred to me to salvage these from the hulls I scrapped. Does anyone have any suggestions for where I can source these or a low cost alternative?

    Cosmetically, the hull is very good with little dock rash. It does have some sun fading, but that should buff out. The seat cover is literally toast and will need to be replaced.
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  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Whatever plastic clips you end up using to support the rearranged wire harness, I can say that Right Stuff brand Black gasket goop is a rather good adhesive.

    When finished using the Right Stuff for the job, just stand the can upright with the dispenser nozzle attached and let it sit for a couple of weeks. Then you can remove the nozzle and gently pull the entire rubber 'plug' out of the can valve. Now it is ready for the next time!

  3. #3
    Moderator HiPeRcO's Avatar
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    Cool! Keep taking some pics, I have an 800i to piece back together (bought it like that )

  4. #4
    martincom's Avatar
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    Well, the weather has been just plain lousy here in MN. It seems like it has been raining nearly every day and to add insult to injury, we have snow flurries today! As I exhausted all my other indoor projects, I decided to start on the 2002 Virage i winter project early.

    I began by checking the cylinder bores with an endoscope. They looked good. So I re-checked the compression, both cylinders were at 120 psi. I'm speculating I didn't have the compression gauge hose fully seated in the spark plug opening, so the O-ring would seal, when I tested it during the purchase evaluation. So this was good news!

    I had made a pass through it with the pressure washer this spring, but there was still a lot of yuck in the hull. Also, I was concerned about the installation of the SBT long block by others. So I had decided to pull the engine, to check it over. It would also allow me to take the scrub brush to the hull interior.

    Below are photos of the hull with the engine removed:








    I'm not going to detail the entire process, as I have done so with past projects. So I'll just be mentioning new issues encountered with this project.

    In general, things were kind of a mess in the hull and "half baked repairs" were present. The center fuel tank straps were laying loose in the hull. The wiring, cables, and hoses were tangled a mess. The Tempo fuel and cooling lines were hard as a rock from age/heat and were loose/leaking at pretty much every connection point, as a result.

    The reverse mechanism had the known design issues and as usual, the handle was forced until something broke. On this Virage i, the mechanism lock arm had broken in two. I found the loose, broken half, in the bottom of the hull, once I removed the fuel tank. The arm spring was also laying in the bottom of the hull. So that was a plus, as usually they are missing. I've come up with a replacement, but their zinc plated steel, not stainless as the OEM.

    I repaired the lock arm by drilling a 3/16 hole in one of the arm webs, to accept a machine screw. I utilized a 10-24 x 1-1/4 machine screw as a "splint" and then filled the arm and embedded the machine screw in plastic epoxy, as depicted in the photos below:





    As I have detailed in previous posts to the "sticky" on jammed reverse mechanisms, I had to elongated the holes on the drive cam to correct the lock arm lift timing---which is why the lock arm had broke in half.

    With the fuel tank removed (I had removed the canister assembly prior to removing the tank), I poured the remaining gasoline into a 5 gallon container utilizing a funnel lined with a paint strainer funnel. The debris captured in the funnel pretty much told me what to expect when I began on the canister.



    Reaching through the canister opening, I wiped up the remaining gasoline coating with paper towels as well as remaining contaminants I could capture with the gasoline dampened paper towels. Once the tank was dry, I utilized a wood working finish tack rag to wipe down the interior of the tank so any remaining contaminants would cling to it.

    As expected, the fuel canister had collected contaminants, as well:





    I reinforced the fuel pressure regulator utilizing the hose barb method. Considering the amount of contaminants in the fuel tank, I replaced the fuel filter at the base of the canister with an OEM replacement (Carter STS-200) sourced from Summit Racing.

    The fuel pump haad checked "open" during my purchase evaluation, so I checked the pump itself while had the canister disassembled. It worked when powered from a bench power supply while pumping/placed in a bucket of mineral spirits. The current drain was normal, also. I'm speculating the "open" I had measured in the purchase evaluation was either a blown or missing fuse.
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  5. #5
    martincom's Avatar
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    In the OP, I was thinking I was going to require some additional plastic wire harness/hose hull retainers to support the upgrade to the 2004 wiring harness and EMM mounting. However, as I now had another 2004 Virage i in the shop, I had purchased as yet another winter project, I had a unit to check cable routing against. The wiring harness is secured by tie wraps anchors glued to the top of the hull, along the seat opening. I'm thinking I was initially confusing two rows of retaining clips, on the hull side wall, with an MSX140.

    I fabricated tie wraps mounts from 1/4 x 1-1/4" aluminum flat stock center drilled and tapped for 8-32. I secured a screw mount tie wrap boss to the aluminum with a stainless machine screw. I glued them into place, on the top of the hull interior, in the same locations as those in the '04 Virage i in the shop. I fabricated an additional mount from 1/4 x 1-1/2" aluminum stock drilled and tapped for 10-32. I utilized a larger screw mount tie wrap boss, to accept 1/4 wide tie wrap, to be attached to the hull side wall behind the EMM mount, to secure the stator wiring harness, as depicted in the photo below. The 1/4 x 1-1/2 flat stock glued to hull wall directly above it is for the rubber bumper/weatherstrip on the back of the EMM mount to rest against. I utilized 3M Structural Adhesive (two part) to glue the aluminum stock to the hull interior as well as the OEM plastic harness/hose retainers whose adhesive had, as usual, failed.



    I measured and drilled the mounting holes for the '04 EMM mounting bracket in the hull top along the seat opening. I installed the '04 wiring harness and secured with tie wraps, routed up through the steering column. I secured the LR module, behind the instrument cluster, with Velcro the same as the '04 Virage i.

    I replaced the small diameter cooling hoses (Tempo) with 1/4 automotive fuel line for the stator/EMM loop and 5/16 for the engine water jacket feed. It is far less expensive than marine fuel hose.

    I re-installed the fuel tank and once in the hull and slid forward and installed the fuel canister. I connected roll ends from two spools of 6.4 mm (1/4") marine fuel line to the canister hose barbs and slid the tank back into position.

    I added an O-ring to the neck of oil tank sending unit as well as a gear type hose clamp around the tank sending unit neck to remedy the known sending unit leakage. I also applied 3M Structural Adhesive around the tank vent elbow to seal that known leak, as well. Replaced the oil tank outlet filter with new. I installed the oil tank and secured the oil/fuel tanks with the three bungy straps. I followed by connecting wiring and filler neck hoses.

    Next, I inspected the engine and found the following deficiencies and corrected them:

    • Cradle bolt bend up plate/tabs had not been bent up to prevent cradle bolts from vibrating loose. Also, no Loctite had been applied to bolts threads, either.
    • The flywheel securing nut did not have Loctite applied to the threads.
    • The oil pump throttle cable was frayed, which I replaced.

    I've read a number of posts where members have reported the starter motor corroded into the flywheel housing. I removed the starter motor, applied anti-seize to the O-rings and the neck, re-installed.

    Scraped/cleaned throttle body gasket surfaces and exhaust resonator gasket surface.

    Verified exhaust manifold had been installed with Permatex high temp gasket sealant, in lieu of gaskets, and properly torqued.

    Removed rubber isolated driveshaft coupler from engine and replaced with solid coupler, in preparation for pump/engine alignment.

    Counted and made note of the number of shims on each motor mount. Reset engine into hull, connecting stator cooling line while suspended from engine hoist.

    Configured pump housing for alignment and checked pump/engine alignment---off significantly. Ultimately, removed three shims from each mount to obtain correct alignment. Marked shim count with permanent marker adjacent/visible at each motor mount.
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  6. #6
    martincom's Avatar
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    The balance of the engine re-installation went without any surprises. The reverse cable had not been adjusted properly, at the hull exit, so the lock would not engage when the gate is set for reverse. A tip when adjusting: Do so with the steering set at a far stop and check the other. The cable needs to be longer to allow the lock to engage when the steering is against a stop.







    I replaced all the fuel lines. The short , red, pieces of hose, between the injectors, are from good hose that I salvaged from newer Virages that I removed the water injection solenoid and associated plumbing from. The hose is in very good condition, soft and pliable, and I thoroughly flushed and clean in the parts washer. As expensive as marine grade fuel line is, you don't want to be wasting any. The black hose is marine grade, type B1, that I dispense from 50' spools. I couldn't find any sexy red hose.

    I ran all the static tests from Digital Wrench (DW) and everything checked fine. This saves from having a hot engine or a potential fire if there is a fuel leak or other issues. The moment of truth came....and went. It didn't start. As I could communicate with the EMM via DW, I was suspecting something in the 21/45 vdc supply. A check with a voltmeter found only 10 - 11 vdc on that line while cranking. I had checked the stator coils for continuity/shorts while I had the engine on the bench and hadn't noticed any flywheel magnet debris within the flywheel housing when I had it opened up. So I was suspecting an EMM power board issue. I swapped the harness connectors to the power board section of a spare EMM. It now started and ran, but didn't want to idle and was hesitant to accelerate. I swapped in the remaining CPU section of the spare EMM and it now idled and acceleration response was normal.

    I repaired and rebuilt the EMM. The days I was waiting for the potting compound to cure I went around the hull exterior with the buffer and rubbing compound. The hull had a fair amount of sun fade, as very evident by the sun damage to the seat upholstery. The white portion of the hull has the color dyed into the gel coat, so I could be very aggressive without fear of "burning through". The metallic read portions are painted and therefore, I had to exercise caution to avoid burn throughs. While I brought a shine to the red, the fade was set. Red pigments always seem to be more subject to sun fade than other colors, though not as significant as a few decades ago. In the '60s and '70s, we avoided red cars for this reason.



    I re-installed the original EMM and test ran briefly. Everything works like it should.

    Lastly, I re-upholstered the seat. I went with a Hydro Turf seat cover. There quality is very good and the upholstery material is a heavier grade than others. While not only do they wear longer as a result, but it is more forgiving for folks like me who have limited experience with re-upholstering.









    The last item is the seat grab strap. It is going out in today's mail to Hydro Turf, where as part of their upholstery package, they will sew a new cover on to it. It takes a pretty heavy duty machine to sew material on to the strap and I know of no one locally who has such a machine.
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  7. #7
    Moderator HiPeRcO's Avatar
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    Fantastic work!

  8. #8
    Myself's Avatar
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    Yes, very nice. I hope to bring back an MSX 140 that I aquired and do a thorough job like you have.


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